As I write, I think John McCain is going to go down hard. Frankly, we will be in a full-out two year wilderness, and probably longer. So the natural thing to do will be to attack John McCain and begin the infighting and the intra-party bloodbath that will surely ensue. I think John McCain will necessarily have to face some of the ire, but with the events in question, and a president sitting where he is politically, I think we may look back on 2008 like we did 1992 or 1996, champing at the bit for new conservative administration. I think we may thank John McCain for what he has done for us at the end of this campaign.
Read on.First, McCain has given us Sarah Palin. Despite what the Washington-New York Corridor thinks, she has done more good than harm this cycle. She has helped energize the GOP base. She has also been very effusive in her praise of McCain, someone clearly to her left politically. She has been drawing large crowds, and think of sparse crowds McCain was getting before she showed up? Also, think of what that says to the base of the party and the country at large? It says that the GOP will move forward with a post baby-boom set of leaders of the ilk of Palin and Jindal. As opposed to the thinking of the elite media, the cupboard is not bare in Republicanland, and Palin helps shine that light clearly. She will also have more time to govern a state, and while she may not be a top tier candidate at the beginning, she will be a huge conservative asset in the years to come. Part of the reason her philosophy has not come through, is partially because the McCain hadlers transmogrified her to fit the McCain campaign. Unencumbered by the strain of a campaign, she will be a star at CPAC and other conservative associations. Part of rebuilding the coalition is recognizing where to start. The Obama administration will be so far left, that Sarah Palin can really help in terms of direct mail and internet fundraising.
Second, McCain has brought us Joe the Plumber. While the Democrats have spent the past three weeks doing opposition research on him, we know this is an effective line of attack throughout the Obama presidency. Joe the plumber will remind those small businessmen why they have always been Republicans. The redistributionist ethos of the Obama White House will enrage those business people who actually create jobs. I feel that those business people and individuals who have talent and have tried to achieve the American Dream will see their hard work plundered. They have sat out the GOP this time. By 2009 they will see the light and give healthy amounts to the Republicans. Joe the Plumber will also demonstrate effectively that the Obama tax hike will hit people way below the $250,000 threshold. The question the Obama people miss is that the people don’t disagree that Joe the Plumber makes less than $250,000, they just don’t trust that people making significantly less than that figure will be paying less. We can keep that narrative going for at least two years, especially after the Democratic budget resolution passes and repeals the tax cuts.
Third, Democrats are not a cohesive group. John McCain has brought out the socialism issue at the right time. Indeed, the Blue Dog Democrats are the ones most likely to oppose the most liberal positions in the Democratic budget. I think a 1993-1994 Republican boycott will again achieve our goals. Essentially, the key to the new budget cycle is to attempt to force the Blue Dogs to continue their wrangling about PayGo rules in budgeting. This will require the Democrats to raise lots of taxes, or force the Blue Dogs to cave to the liberal wing of their party, either of which is good for us. There will be a lot of so-called conservative Democrats elected this cycle. We need to see them fortified in their conservatism by those they represent. I live in Nebraska. You can bet that Ben Nelson will get plenty of calls in opposition to the Obama tax policy. I also think that as conservatives, we will need to look to the right on the Democratic side and pressure them. We should force President Obama to rely, like Bill Clinton, on the Maxine Waters wing of the Democratic Party. This should help plenty of the conservatives who have been despirited this cycle to understand why they have given money and talent to the GOP in the past.
Fourth, McCain’s position on the surge in Iraq will redound well for the GOP vice Obama’s cut and run policy. When we deliberately weaken Iraq and Iran becomes the premier power in that region, Republicans can rightly howl at the inexperience and poor judgement of the administration. We can hopefully contrast the party that had Iraq on the right track and the one that will throw all gains away to pay for welfare programs. When radical Islam is running rampant again, and our President is standing idly by as Jimmy Carter light, the country will know why we elect Republicans. When America stands disgraced before the world, and the President is apologizing to the world, a lot of these sunshine Obama voters will also see the light.
Fifth, a strong Democratic majority and a strong liberal president will reinvigorate key conservative organizations. John McCain has tried to unite them, with little regard. The NRA will surge in fundraising, as will the National Right-to-Life orgaizations. I also feel that there will be increasing pressure from the Catholic Bishops on Democratic politicians who want the benefit of the Catholic faith without actually having to live it.
All of the above, which have been nurtured by the McCain camp, could provide a national critical mass in an off-year election. I remember what felt like the desolation of 1992, but by 1994 we were in the majority in Congress. The same could happen agian, due in no small part to John McCain’s issues he has raised in this campaign.